How to Add a Backsplash to a Bathroom Sink

Adding a backsplash to your bathroom sink can instantly upgrade the look and feel of your space. A stylish backsplash not only protects your wall from water damage, but it also adds an eye-catching focal point to your bathroom. With some planning and DIY skills, installing a backsplash behind your sink is a relatively easy weekend project.

Things to Consider Before Installing a Bathroom Sink Backsplash

Before starting your backsplash installation, here are some key factors to consider:


Most bathroom backsplashes are made of water-resistant materials like ceramic tile, metal, glass, or stone. Choose a material based on your budget, the style you want, and how easy it will be to clean. Ceramic tile is a popular choice as it comes in endless colors, patterns, and textures.

Backsplash Height

The standard height for a backsplash behind a bathroom sink is 4-6 inches. However, you can customize it based on your sink and personal preference. Measure the area to determine what height works best.

Backsplash Length

Ideally, the backsplash should run the entire length of the vanity countertop, from one end to the other. This provides full protection. If you have multiple sinks, you may opt to do a section of backsplash behind each one.

Accent Tiles

Consider using accent tiles or mosaic sheets along with your main backsplash tiles. This adds extra personality. Accent tiles work great as borders, trims or used sparingly between main tiles.

Faucet and Accessories

Make sure to select a backsplash that fits in with your faucet finish and other bathroom accessories. You want your new backsplash to coordinate and pull the whole space together.

How to Install a Backsplash Behind a Bathroom Sink

Once you’ve selected your materials, use the following steps to properly install the backsplash:

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

You’ll need tiles, thinset mortar, grout, grout sealer, tile cutter, trowel, spacers, caulk, and any accent tiles or mosiac sheets. Make sure you have all necessary materials before starting.

Step 2: Prepare the Surface

Thoroughly clean the wall surface behind the sink using a degreaser to remove dirt, grime, or any soap buildup. Ensure the surface is smooth. Fill any holes or imperfections with spackle and sand smooth.

Step 3: Mark Your Tile Layout

Measure the space and use a level to mark layout lines to guide your tile placement. Mark the bottom line where you want the bottom row of tiles to sit. Measure and mark vertical lines at the center and ends.

Step 4: Apply Thinset Mortar

Use a notched trowel to apply a thin layer of thinset mortar to the backsplash area, holding it at a 45 degree angle. Apply only as much as you can tile over within 15-20 minutes.

Step 5: Place the Backsplash Tiles

Begin with the center tile in the bottom row. Place tile along bottom line with spacers in between. Work outward from center, installing tiles one row at a time. Use spacers to ensure consistent alignment.

Step 6: Cut Any Edge Tiles

Measure and mark tiles that need to be cut to fit around outlets, corners, or edges. Cut using tile cutter. Place edge tiles to complete backsplash.

Step 7: Let Tiles Set

Allow tiles to set undisturbed for at least 24 hours. This allows the thinset mortar to fully cure and ensures a strong bond.

Step 8: Grouting the Tiles

Mix grout according to package directions. Apply grout over the tiles using a rubber grout float or squeegee. Push it down into joints. Wipe away excess. Allow to dry completely.

Step 9: Seal the Grout

Once grout has dried, apply a grout sealer to protect from moisture and staining. Allow sealer to fully dry.

Step 10: Caulk Edges

Use a flexible caulk to fill any gaps between the backsplash tiles and wall edges or corners. Smooth with wet finger for a neat finish.

And that’s it – you now have a stylish, practical backsplash installed behind your bathroom sink! Be sure to keep it looking its best by using gentle cleaners and resealing the grout over time. Enjoy your fresh new focal point!

FAQs about Installing Backsplashes Behind Bathroom Sinks

How do I cut the tiles for an outlet or edge?

Carefully measure and mark the area needing cut. Use a straight edge. Score the tile evenly with tile cutter then snap piece off using pliers. File any rough edges. Use cut pieces near edges.

What if my wall surface is uneven?

You may need to apply a thin coat of mortar and allow it to fully cure before tiling to level out any dips or bumps. This creates an even surface to install tiles smoothly.

How long does thinset take to cure?

Thinset mortar takes 24 hours to fully cure. Do not grout or expose tiles to water during this time. This allows a strong bond to develop between the tiles and wall.

What’s the easiest way to apply grout?

Using a rubber grout float makes applying grout smooth and easy. Hold it at a 45 degree angle and work in small sections for best results. Wipe off excess grout with minimal strokes.

Should I use sanded or unsanded grout?

For grout joints 1/8 inch or smaller, use unsanded grout. For wider grout lines up to 1/2 inch, use sanded grout. Most bathroom backsplash tiles require unsanded grout.

How do I clean and maintain my backsplash?

Use soft cleaners like dish soap and water applied gently with a sponge. Avoid harsh chemicals. Reseal grout once a year. Repair any cracked or missing grout promptly to prevent moisture damage.


Installing a backsplash behind your bathroom sink adds function and style. With proper planning and by following the right installation steps, it’s a project any DIYer can tackle. The end result is a high-end look with minimal effort. Be sure to choose a durable, water-resistant material that fits your bathroom’s décor. And don’t forget to seal and regularly maintain your backsplash so it stays in top condition for years to come.